Lake effects, no?

First off, Happy 2017!


This may be a completely disjointed post. Hopefully short on verbiage and long on photos.


We had a whirlwind Christmas with visitors and trips to the mountains, dinners out, and crazy weather.


Seriously, we are having lots of precip, which for us is a miracle. Cold enough to drape everything around us in beautiful white snow.


As I am writing this morning, it is raining outside. It has rained off and on for three weeks. Hope it continues.


I will be heading down to our other house on Sunday and staying through January. One reason is I have volunteered to help with the new baby. Another thing is getting our house in better shape. It’s still chaos. Wish me luck.


We walked around our lake on Christmas eve, so you can see some of the shots I took. All the lights were magic and just seemed to dance and float on the water at blue hour. The rest are on my Flickr page.


Do you make goals for each new year? I usually think about them briefly and promptly forget them, LOL. This year it will be more organizing and decorating.  I need to start a serious purge of things that are just being stored and never used. I am such a materialist in many ways that I hate to part with anything I like, and I like everything I buy. Ha!


My Israeli friends, who I have known since our days in NYC, have assured me that Trump’s election was an angelic-instigated event and that he will save the world from impending doom. Oh Boy. I try to keep an open mind and they kept telling me that they are plugged in to the real news, while ours is “cooked”. OK, let’s see what happens … but!


One of Geoff’s brothers gave me a book for Christmas on the coming financial collapse, based on the fact (among other things) that the credit default swaps practice is worse than ever. It even says something about the Ice Nine Freeze or something like that, which portends all our assets being frozen and seized to prevent the world financial system from complete annihilation. Do what? Put cash under the mattress?


I figure I have at least one marketable skill for the apocalypse: I am a trained baker. Provided we have ovens, that is — or hot rocks? 😀


My presence here in January will be spotty but I will try to get around to everyone. I am so grateful to all of you, my community, which seems to be growing without me doing anything special.


Thank you for putting up with me.


More soon … hugs. ❤


Images: Chez BeBe assets: Bridgeport/Valencia, California

Winter thou goest – Part I

Clearly my thoughts have evolved on this blog as to what I can do for you, what I can share to make your life more beautiful after you visit here, and am pleased to have settled on creating a trave…

Source: Winter thou goest – Part I

All things bright …

So here we are, embarking (almost) on a new year. I am sure every one of us is looking on the brightest side we can.


For me, the holidays are wonderful, no matter what else is going on.  By the way, to those of you who have been with me these last few years as I toss my thoughts into the wild blue universe, thank you so much. I am grateful for and to you.


Those new people who are following me and just helped me pass another milestone, welcome and thank you too. I hope I don’t disappoint you.


By the way, to those readers who left because I speak my mind: thank you for being with me when you were. I cannot worry about some being offended by what I see as the truth — after much research, analysis and thought given to the topics on which I expound, LOL — and I am confident I have been quite restrained and diplomatic, if not downright generous to everyone I meet.


Goodbye and Good Luck, as Keith Olbermann and Edward R. Murrow used to say.


This past few weeks has been frenzied. I wrapped up a large project, then had to run down to the new house to meet some contractors. Now back up in the Valley, I am furiously cleaning, buying, wrapping and more cleaning. While all this was going on, I had to produce the family holiday video.  Errrrr….


I thought this would be an easy Christmas and that we would just be spending one day with Geoffrey’s family and then heading down to SD to be with my family. So, I made every woman in the family a lacy shawl complete with shawl pins that I picked for each individual — over a dozen people.


But at the last minute they switched and told me everyone is coming to our house in LA. That means buying more gifts to put out here,  new slippers for everyone (we don’t wear shoes in our homes), and making stockings for newcomers, like the baby. Madness – Yikes!


So, you will have to forgive me if I am only here sporadically for awhile. I will be visiting you, however.


Here are some new photos of our second neighborhood.  Next up will be more captures from the lake nearby us up here.


If I don’t find another way to say it: Happy Holidays and of course Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah everyone.


No matter who you are or where, nor whether you come here and agree or disagree, I love you!


Images: Chez BeBe assets: San Diego, California

Eschew on this

It’s Thanksgiving week as we all know. And, I could have prepared a feel good piece about how Geoffrey and I celebrate at a table filled with delicious, ethical seasonal fare such as pistachio risotto with roasted root vegetables and cornbread stuffing with porcini gravy and maple-sweetened yams.

Related image

But, I am feeling too serious for all that.

I will make this brief.  As we sat around chewing over the disastrous outcome of the recent election, and listened to Free Speech TV — the only talking heads I can bear any longer, i.e., Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press and Amy Goodman — it gradually dawned on me that nothing we can do now or in the future will change the morass we find ourselves in.  In fact, I now recognize that we, in America, just like the rest of the world, have been enduring these political boom/bust cycles for the past few thousand years.  Around and ’round we go on the gerbil wheel, deluding ourselves that this 21st century is any better than any before it.

Let me boil it down and if anyone cares to challenge or amplify it, I welcome your input, as this is a short week and at our house we are in the throes of holiday prep.  We will be spending it in Los Angeles and then I will be in San Diego for most of January, so my writing and photography will be subject to my new computer equipment and abbreviated time to do both. I hope to stick to my two week schedule, but don’t hold me to it.

Part of the reason I blog is to share my enthusiasm or my discoveries in all the arenas in which I dabble: crafts, photography, gardening, nutrition, decorating, music, higher consciousness, and politics.  What is the point of another blithe piece on any one of these when the realization that we are just fooling ourselves into thinking there is real progress is just that: foolish, silly, and deluded.

turkey two

I am not a depressive type by nature, so believe me when I tell you I am not sad about this, nor down, nor dejected, nor defeated.  I am more resigned, accepting and sobered by it.  Life goes on. I have lots of hobbies and activities that keep me busy. I am an acquisitor, as I have joked about extensively. Name the item and I have at least 100 of them. No foolin’. I say this not with pride, but with astonishment. Stuff just arrives. Good, nice stuff that I really like. Like my new computer and all the bells, whistles and gimcracks I got to go along with it. Like all the bling and shine and color I add to my wardrobe, my home, my accessories.  That’s enough to keep one person occupied.

Unfortunately, I am cursed with an inquistor’s mind. I think a lot, love to study, want to know what is true, to look at the sweep of history and learn lessons from it. From my own errors, achievements and those of others.  That is where I think I have been stuck and as a result have fruitlessly expected the right, the good, the true and the beautiful to prevail. But it hasn’t.

Image result for turkey tureens

And why do I say this? Because, despite our evolving intellect and psyche, the reins of power remain in the hands of the very few, the owner class, that much overworked but accurate term, the plutocrats/oligarchs, and has done so for thousands of years.  It is no different today than it was in medieval times when powerful landowners bullied and terrorized their way to scooping up treasure from those less powerful, to the colonial times of the Founders here when the fortunes were made on the backs of free labor, conscripted for the purpose of making a handful of European overlords exceedingly rich, to the current fossil fuel hegemons, the so-called petro-billionaire class who are loyal only to their billions, who depend on a duped, doped, docile army of workers, toiling at near slave wages, to continue building their obscene wealth and immutable power.

If this makes me sound like a communist or a conspiracy-theorist, I am neither. I do like a Scandinavian-style capitalism, in a peaceful (anti-bellicose), verdant, egalitarian social order but have long given up that we can have it here. To see Europe and the United States taken over by right-wing Nationalists is to set my personal idealism back 30 years. While I am at it, the world doesn’t think The Leader is stupid, they think the American voters are.

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Who is better off? The supposed adherents to the “white-lash” myth, who believed The Leader would be a change agent and who, to this minute, refuse to see that he is filling our government with the very thieves and crooks and liars that caused their misery in the first place? The self-same group! What is the matter with Americans? Can’t they see that they are being abused all over again and actually partnering in it willingly?

Or are we so-called bi-coastal ‘elites’ (hah!) happier in the knowledge that we, with our lofty principles and untrammeled notions of the inner goodness that comes self-illumined, just threw away the next 30 years of progress with both hands? The election was stolen through a variety of means. Those of us on the ‘left’ know exactly what they were. People on the ‘right’ refuse to acknowledge these techniques. (Anyone here forgotten those tricks? Just ask and I will refresh you on them, but in a nutshell: voter purges and suppression). We watched the oligarchs use their toadies to pull this off and we did and said nothing. This is what a modern day coup looks like, folks.  We should demand a recount of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. But Democrats being the elegant people they are, will likely not do that. Just imagine if the situation were reversed.

The public was lured down this dark road by the promise of jobs. Really? The Leader is promising fossil fuel jobs. That industry is being mechanized. It has little or nothing to do with trade deals or the world, it has to do with improved technology supplanting costly and inefficient human labor. The Leader cannot bring those jobs back, it was and is a lie.  Our Candidate promised jobs associated with the booming clean energy industry, but coal miners and frackers would need new training. That frightens them, so they ignored its promise. Other advanced countries are already eating our lunch in that sector, among them Germany and China, for heaven sake. But, The Leader and his backers in the fossil fuel field (Robert Mercer, a Koch crony, bought this election and got the puppet of his choice appointed to the highest seat in the land. It might as well be Mercer himself in the White House) don’t want to relinquish the feed bag and certainly not to any public works or middle class!

The Leader is also jumping in front of the infrastructure parade, giving himself credit. And what do you think he will do? Privatize it and put up toll roads! Duh! Our Candidate would have made this a shared bond-issue project from which all communities would have benefited at the individual and collective level. You decide which you would have preferred.

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Which is worse, the drug of stupidity or that of superiority? We progressive post-modernists were so sure that when the oppressed considered their choices between a fascist and a proletarian, they would obviously know which to choose in their own best interest. Did they? No, into the mouth of the dragon they marched, willingly and cheering, wearing the beast’s colors proudly as they went.

Sorry. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am, believe me. I begin and end every single day reflecting on these.

What I won’t be doing ever again is believing that anyone outside the tight circle of the powerful can have the society we were all promised. The only way these people can maintain their pinnacle is on the backs of modern-day slaves, and slaves we are.  All we can do is decorate our slave quarters, both physical and mental, and survive in them.

Despite this, I am happy. Perhaps that is because I can afford to be. I will weather this latest cycle of Thatcher-Reaganism. Though a slave myself, I am one of the more accepted among them: an Irish Catholic woman of modest means, who toes the mark and only protests in futile academic words that most can ignore as being tiresome, dull and abstruse. So be it.  Maybe I will wake up in another life, on Mars, and be too busy scrounging for oxygen to notice that it is the same world order there as here, then as now and was.

Images: Wikimedia Commons




Dark matters

dsc_6632-smallWhat irony. My last post was on the sunny, warm, glowing happiness that comes with San Diego and its Great Ball of Fire, that spreads over the landscape virtually every day of the year. Then I came back up to our main house in Valencia and a week of welcomed rain and cold, with dark turbulent skies and roiling clouds. Being a Jersey Shore girl, I reveled in it.

By the time I had the photographs we took, walking around in the rain on Halloween eve, open in LightRoom, I was struck by the contrast. It gave me such a sense of foreboding. As if the set and the weather premonitored the coming upheaval we are experiencing this week.


You be the judge.  What timing, no?

I had planned this title long before Election Day.  It was going to be all about the importance of spending time in the dark, in our overlit, 21st century world. Our eyes need dark, just the way they do distance, to rest and be healthy.  Ah, but it was not to be.


Nope, that idea will have to be developed in the future.  Right now, I am marinating in the stupefying swill of the voting results.

I am going to say it here, one more time: the people who voted for The Man, were lied to.  He and his right-wing cronies made promises they knowingly could not keep. Unfortunately, despite my candidate winning the popular vote, our antediluvian electoral college system handed the White House to this unqualified, unscrupulous man and a coterie of opportunistic helpers who merely want power and influence and money for themselves.


I know I have friends here who do not like my candidate. I contend you don’t know her, even though you think you do. She has been lied about aggressively for more than 30 years by jealous, resentful people who are not only against powerful females, but who cannot believe anyone wants to serve others without ulterior motives.


They are wrong. My mother is one such person. Her father, another. I watched both of them give a lifetime of care, selflessly, to others.  I believe Secretary Clinton is another one.



Take a look at what we are in for right now. See the way Trump is going to “drain the swamp” and then think about the choice you made Tuesday. Read each description carefully.

So, OK, America, you are getting the leader you deserve. Let’s see what he does to us and most importantly, for us.  I am saying it now: I told you so.

Images: ChezBeBe assets/Valencia, California, November 2016